Mark Boucher named Proteas head coach
CAPE TOWN – Cricket SA's acting director of cricket, Graeme Smith, believes new coach Mark Boucher's "first-hand experience" will rejuvenate the Proteas.
Boucher, the 147-cap Test veteran, was appointed Proteas coach on Saturday afternoon when Smith unveiled the Proteas' new management team.
Boucher takes over from the previous interim coach Enoch Nkwe, who has been relegated to assistant coach. Boucher and Nkwe have been appointed until after the 2023 World Cup.
"I have brought Boucher on board because I feel he will bring the toughness to turn a young and inexperienced Proteas squad into a battle-ready outfit," Smith said.
"With his experience of a long career as an international cricketer he has first-hand experience of what it takes to succeed in the Test arena."
ICYMI || CRICKET SOUTH AFRICA today announced the appointment of Mark Boucher as head coach of the @StandardBankZA Proteas and Enoch Nkwe as assistant coach at a well-attended Media Briefing at Newlands— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) December 14, 2019
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Smith stressed that Nkwe remains a valuable component of the Proteas coaching staff, and will be granted opportunities within the new environment.
"I have the highest regard for Enoch as well and I want to create a clear path for him to grow into a top international coach," Smith said.
"At the same time there is a clear need to maintain continuity and stability in the Proteas management team and we will be retaining the technical support staff along with Volvo Masubelele continuing as team manager and Justin Ontong as fielding coach."
The new structure will also see former Proteas batsman take the reins of the SA 'A' side, while former convenor of selectors Linda Zondi is the new independent selector.
The Proteas new selection panel will therefore comprise of Boucher (head coach), Nkwe (assistant coach) and Zondi (independent selector) for the upcoming England series. They will convene shortly to announce the squads for the SA 'A' warm-up match against England in Benoni and the Test series starting on Boxing Day at SuperSport Park.
"We will be announcing both the Proteas Test squad and the South Africa A squad to play England on Monday," Smith said. "The Test squad will then go into immediate camp to prepare for the Test series and some of them will be included in the South Africa A team. Aiden Markram is likely to be the only player released for franchise duty in the 4-day series as he is in need of match practice after his lengthy injury-enforced absence.
"As far as my vision for the future is concerned, we need to rewind to performance excellence and that will be the focus going forward. Our public want and demand a world-class Proteas side and we must deliver on that. As far as my own future is concerned, I face a very busy and at times hectic three months and I am not going to look further ahead than that. I am sure everybody will understand that."